Author Topic: Noob Questions wood choices  (Read 3516 times)

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Offline sofa_king_rad

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Noob Questions wood choices
« on: May 05, 2016, 01:46 PM »
prepping for my first couple projects. many of the Plans I'm finding are using plywood and 4x4's that they cut down. Some i've seen are even using standard pine from somewhere like Home Depot. 

That doesn't seem right to me. I'm still learning about wood and how to buy it, how it is sold. The hardwood dealer i found pretty much everything was 1 by .... Probably a proper term for this. So is it common to glue your own posts for or spend the money and order bigger size?
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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Noob Questions wood choices
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2016, 03:33 PM »
Depending on the species of wood it might be virtually impossible to get a solid 4 x 4.  That will leave you to laminate or build posts with a hollow center using mitered corners or butt - joined corners based on the acceptable look you desire.

Peter

Offline Shane Holland

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Re: Noob Questions wood choices
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2016, 03:40 PM »
That will leave you to laminate or build posts with a hollow center using mitered corners or butt - joined corners based on the acceptable look you desire.

Yup, agreed. This is a good option.

The only 4x4 solid hardware I've ever bought was red oak. Otherwise, I've done what Peter suggested.
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Re: Noob Questions wood choices
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2016, 03:44 PM »
As Peter and Shane point out dressed (jointed and planed) 4 x 4 may be hard to find in some species (or may be prohibitively expensive).  Hardwood suppliers would have them listed as 16/4 material in the rough which you would dress to be 4 x material.  They may offer services to do this for you at a cost.

Offline sofa_king_rad

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Re: Noob Questions wood choices
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2016, 06:35 PM »
I've seen a couple videos where they seems to simply glue two smaller boards together, isn't it really that simple?
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Re: Noob Questions wood choices
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2016, 06:51 PM »
Gluing boards together to build up to 4 x 4 is what Peter means by "laminate".

As you google your options you will see in the pics / videos of a glue up or lamination that you can see the different individual boards in the edges of the 4 x 4 (I know it's square but just call 2 of the faces front and back and the other 2 the edges).

If you make it hollow with mitered corners than all 4 faces are the same and you don't see the post as a glue up of thinner boards.


Offline Untidy Shop

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Re: Noob Questions wood choices
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2016, 07:06 PM »


'Left over' 90X45mm MP10 Pine machined and laminated to 85X85mm.
90X45mm is approx. 4X2".
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 07:11 PM by Untidy Shop »
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Offline McNally Family

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Re: Noob Questions wood choices
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2016, 04:10 AM »
Depending on the species of wood it might be virtually impossible to get a solid 4 x 4.  That will leave you to laminate or build posts with a hollow center using mitered corners or butt - joined corners based on the acceptable look you desire.

Peter

I would also think, depending on the application, and the moisture content of the wood, going with the laminate concept would reduce the risk of warping.  I remember being amazed at how far a 4x4 can twist itself, if not locked into a position quickly (thinking back to my wood fence building days).
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Offline sofa_king_rad

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Re: Noob Questions wood choices
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2016, 02:56 PM »
Any tips or resources and knowing when you need to use/maek a 4x4 vs a 2x4 etc. For example working on a bed posts for kids bed.
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Offline RussellS

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Re: Noob Questions wood choices
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2016, 06:10 PM »
Any tips or resources and knowing when you need to use/make a 4x4 vs a 2x4 etc. For example working on a bed posts for kids bed.

As for when to use a 4x4 (16 quarter, 16/4, 4 inch thick) or 2x4 or 1x4 or whatever, that's part of the design process.  A 4x4 for a bed post or table leg looks right.  A 4x4 (several glued together) for a cabinet door does not look right.

As for when to buy 16/4 wood or make your own by laminating two 8/4 or four 4/4 together, that depends on what is available, cost, time.

Laminating is a very good way to make thick lumber.  Its very strong.  Glue is stronger than the wood.  And with enough clamps holding together two boards being glued together, the face grain to face grain connection will be as solid as granite.  4/4 lumber is usually guaranteed to be drier than 16/4.  Dry is good.  4/4 will usually be less than one fourth of 16/4 wood.  Thicker is more expensive per board foot.

Offline ear3

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Re: Noob Questions wood choices
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2016, 07:31 AM »
One trick on laminating -- if you haven't gotten the planer yet, make sure you do it with stock that has already been surfaced, as otherwise there will not be a smooth face for the glue to keep the boards together.  If you buy rough 4/4 lumber and have the lumberyard surface it, keep in mind you may have to do some additional sanding to get out the planer knife marks, as the lumberyards won't always have their planer in the best working condition since they run it all day, every day.  EDIT: but be very careful not to oversand it such that you round the edges or create any dishing in the board that would make for a less than tight seam between the two mating surfaces.

Also, if the stock you're working with has any kind of bowing, when you put the pieces together make sure you turn one of them around so that the bow is mirrored -- think of two parentheses like so () or so )(.  That way when you clamp them the bowing is cancelled out.  And definitely check the stock so you can eliminate any that is either twisted or cupped (or even crooked, though this can theoretically be straightened out with a tracksaw): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_warping

   
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Offline FOGNewbie

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Re: Noob Questions wood choices
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2016, 07:03 PM »
Just some additional info here:

http://www.newwoodworker.com/nwwref/wodthk.html

http://www.woodworkerssource.com/blog/tips-tricks/what-does-44-mean-when-talking-about-lumber/

Don't forget grain direction/ graphics:
https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/tipstechniques/mastering-grain-graphics

http://www.hardwooddistributors.org/blog/postings/what-is-the-difference-between-quarter-sawn-rift-sawn-and-plain-sawn-lumber/

http://jlrodgers.com/pdf/revised-glue-grain.pdf

If you are gluing up two 4/4 or 5/4 boards, you can create rift/ quarter/ flatsawn boards. You'll want rift grain if making table/ cabinet legs. The beauty of riftsawn material for leg stock is the leg will look essentially the same from any direction. Stickley did something similar to get the quartersawn oak look from all directions. I think stickley used a lock miter bit. Greg Paolini  Shows how he did it with laminations(glue-ups) in episode 1. You will most likely have to sign-up to see the whole video.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/57009/build-an-arts-and-crafts-coffee-table

Greg discusses design here:



The reason I thought I'd throw in this information is I think it will help with some of the questions you have. Also regarding gluing material together, lamination will not only get you what you need (a thicker board), it can also be a way to orient the grain. Paying attention to grain direction, can/ will make your project look much better than not. Well that is if you don't paint it... Anyway, I'll stop here for now, because there is much to this subject alone.

BTW I thought Greg would be a good choice, because he is actually a Festool trainer now.